Thursday, May 20, 2010

Irritated today

My husband, bless his little pea-picking heart, really ticked me off today. He has been rather "itchy" these days. I can't imagine why...

Being a disabled person, he sometimes has difficulty cleaning the 'nether regions' of his body. He does bathe, but it's quite difficult for him. We have a bidet but since this surgery it's also difficult for him to use. So, there are times when his hygiene is less than desirable. I don't complain, but I do ask him if he's gotten cleaned (after I've cleaned the toilet - sorry if TMI but it is essential to this post). I clean the toilet frequently.

I asked him today (after cleaning yet again) if he'd "bideted" before he got dressed. He gets so darn defensive if I ask him a hygiene question - including brushing his teeth. I know it's tough, I know it causes him pain, BUT odors are odors. Not pleasant.

So, when he started in on his "it's so hard" routine, I told him (yet again) that I'm not attacking him (just like every other time) but that I'm just asking - just in case he didn't realize that he wasn't clean. Same with his teeth. Most people can't smell their own breath, but others can. I don't want him to be offensive to others so I ask.

I guess I won't any more. He started in on "yeah, yeah, yeah" and nodding his head while I was trying to explain myself. I said that I didn't appreciate his attitude and he got lippy again. So, I said something not very nice - really not nice - sort of like "f...". That wasn't nice of me and I was sorry... until he said, "Well, you don't make my life very happy some days."

That just hit me in the gut and I very calmly said, "I really appreciate that comment." I have to shut down, I guess, and just not care. I'll get his food, clean his clothes, clean his toilet, take him to the doctor, and take care of his needs. But, I guess if he wants to stink, then so be it. Only problem is, I don't like to be around him. Guess I can avoid him as much as possible.

I know the man feels "unmanly" and I know that he's very upset with his situation. But, taking it out on me is not the way to win friends and influence people. I was terribly offended, and quite frankly, I'm still offended. I am sure that he'll be sorry but he won't tell me that he is. He just expects that I know he's sorry and that he appreciates me.

I do know that but there are days when I really want to look at him and say, "you did this; you fix it." But, that is not "for better or for worse; in sickness and in health" and I won't abandon him. I do love him but there are days when I don't like him very much.

I'm sure he dislikes me, too but without me, he's got nothing. The rest of his family has already proven they can't be depended upon to do anything for him. Personally, I think he's got it pretty good.

All things considered, of course. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes, either. But I don't think I'd bite the hand that feeds me.


Marla said...

Tough love, sister. You are a wonderful wife and caregiver. You have every right to live with a clean husband. Take a shower with him. It might encourage him to accept your help. Just a thought. I know. I'm bossy. :-)

Donna B said...

Hi Teresa...YOU ROCK! YOU ARE A PILLAR OF STRENGTH!!! That has to be so tough on both of you. I have these conversations with my Dad often. He has always been impecable with his hygiene, and now he depends on others to clean him up, since he incontinent of both bowel and bladder. Humiliating to say the least. Can you imagine having a stranger help you with THEE MOST PRIVATE of personal duties?? I can't.

Maria has a good idea. Have you considered that? Showering together?

Maybe you can compromise. When going out, you let him know...when he is at home, you give him gum to chew or a mint to suck on and keep room sprays handy...

Would his insurance allow for a male CNA to come and assist him a couple days a week? Or maybe he would prefer a female CNA...

I have so much respect for you, and I know he really appreciates is like you said, it is feeling unmanly, and dependent...that is really hard for men.

I am sending you long, big, hugs. Hang in there sweetie.

SkippyMom said...

You are definitely a pillar of strength as DonnaB says 'cause God knows I would be tempted to...well, let's just say be a little less than equitable.

Part of this might be he knows he did this to himself, and while sad and irreprable, he feels guilty along with all the other emotions you are seeing. His only defense is to be defensive and he is taking it out on the person closest to him - you. Believe me since I have been out of the hospital and feeling better I have been apologizing to Pooldad because I was mean as a hornet to him when I was in such pain before I went in and this was from something I didn't cause myself. I am still shocked at some of the things I said to Pooldad when he would unintentionally hurt me while trying to help me. I have never spoken to him like that, but I was in such pain I wasn't thinking straight. [God, I hate admitting that]

YOU are the one that deserves the benefit of the doubt and a GREAT BIG BREAK - We need to brainstorm and get SOMEONE in there to help you out - you simply can't do this alone anymore - it is going to cost you your health and that isn't good. [duh!] I feel for Ron, I do - but he needs to help in whatever itty bitty way he can and snapping at you isn't helping.

I wish you the best - if I think of anything I will email you - hang in there and we will chat soon.

Isn't it 5 o'clock somewhere? LOL